ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote that per multiple reports, San Diego officials instructed their organization’s athletic trainers to maintain two distinct files of medical information on their players — one for industry consumption and the other for the team’s internal use. The intent was to give the Padres a clear advantage in trade talks. That clearly was demonstrated in a pair of trades in 2016.
On July 14, 2016, Boston moved one of their top pitching prospects, Anderson Espinoza, to San Diego for LHP Drew Pomerantz. After the trade was consummated, Boston learned that several preventative measures given to Pomeranz were missing from the files.
Two weeks later, A. J. Preller stuck again with trading RHSP Andrew Cashner, injured RHSP Colin Rea, and RHRP Tayron Guerrero to Miami for RHP Jarred Cosart and two prospects, 1B/OF/DH Josh Naylor, RHP Luis Castillo (yes that Luis Castillo), and RHRP Carter Capps. Unfortunately, after Rea’s first game with Miami he came away with an apparent elbow injury. They learned that Rea was undergoing treatment for weeks that went undisclosed. MLB learned of non-disclosure and instructed the Padres to remedy the deal. It turns out that Miami traded Rea back to SD for Luis Castillo.
Two months later, Preller was suspended for 30 games; a suspension length that did not go over well with the other organizations.
This was not the first time Preller has been suspended. As Director of International Scouting Operations with Texas, he was reportedly suspended in the late 2000’s Preller for improper contact with a prospect.
The again in 2015, the Padres were fined an undisclosed amount for allegedly holding an illegal international workout.
Now some are wondering if Preller is at it again. San Diego tried to package RHSP Chris Paddack with 1B Eric Hosmer, RHRP Emilio Pagán, and $30MM in cash to NYM for 1B/LF/DH Dominic Smith. The NYM doctors nixed the deal. Curious. Why was that?
Not to be deterred, subsequent to that trade fall thru, On April 7, 2022, San Diego traded Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagán to Minnesota for closer Taylor Rogers and AAAA OF Brent Rooker. Paddack left his last start one month later (May 8) with elbow inflammation. As it turns out, Paddack needs his second TJ surgery. Are we supposed to believe that there wasn’t anything wrong with Paddack’s elbow one month earlier? We haven’t any information to persuade or dissuade one’s opinion. What we do know is that NYM doctors obviously saw something they did not like.
What did the NYM doctors see that the Minnesota doctors didn’t? His velo has gone down from 94.9 to 93.5. So there appears to have been something there. What that is, we just do not know.
Did AJ Preller hide medical information again? Are the Minnesota doctors incompetent? Or did the NYM doctors just have a sense that something was not right? Regardless, the Twins have traded their closer and a AAAA OF (and cash) to the Padres for Chris Paddack, Emilio Pagán, and 19-year-old Venezuelan lottery pitcher Brayan Medina.
The Twins needed a starting pitcher and were willing to trade one of the best relievers in MLB for Paddack and Emilio Pagán. Pagán has started out well for the Twins, but not nearly as well as has Rogers for the Padres.
- Emilio Pagán – 6 saves in 7 save opportunities, 2.13 ERA, 1.58 WHIP
- Taylor Rogers – 16 saves in 17 save opportunities, 0.49 ERA, 0.65 WHIP
Are the Twins going to have known cheaters further investigated? Have not heard, but if I were a Twins fan, I would be screaming for an investigation or an explanation as to why not.
Minnesota is without a very much needed starting pitcher, and San Diego has perhaps the 2nd best reliever in the NL. Nobody is better than Josh Hader. Minnesota is supposed to accept that? Apparently so.